Coin Door

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The coin door is responsible for taking video arcade games from a novelty to a viable commercial enterprise. With the addition of coin doors, arcade owners could begin charging rabid fans a nominal fee for their entertainment, a cost youngsters are still only too glad to pay. Of course, much has changed since the days of Pac-Man and Pong. What was once a 25-cent pastime is now, in some cases, a five-dollar one.

Many of the cutting-edge interactive games have replaced their coin slots with dollar slots instead. Attractions such as interactive hockey or hoops put the participant in the middle of the game instead of at the helm of an electronic player. But the march of technology notwithstanding, games are still largely dependent upon the coin door as a system of revenue-generation.

Your Coin Door's Parts

The coin door is a pretty simple contraption, especially compared with other arcade parts. By and large, it's made of a plastic button with a grooved slot for the coin. This button also serves as the coin-reject or coin-return button for players who mistakenly deposit their money in the wrong game or who change their mind after paying and decide to play something else. The deposit/reject button is surrounded by a bezel that mounts the piece to the exterior of the cabinet.

Once money is deposited in the coin door, it descends into a receptacle where it sits until the machines are cleaned out at the end of the day. But first the coin trips a tiny lever located inside the door that signals to the game board that a credit has been registered. The player is then free to start his or her game. In many instances nowadays, it takes three or four quarters to activate the sensor that allows the game to begin.

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